Free Agent Frenzy?

Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 12 Comments »

I was going to write a lengthy post about the 5 greatest holders in the history of the Eagles, but instead decided to touch on Michael Silver’s article from yesterday, Eagles eagerly anticipate start of free agency.

You read that and come away thinking we’re going to add 15 starters once the offseason activity gets underway.  You can’t help but get a bit excited.

I do think the Eagles will be active and aggressive.  One of the key comments in there was from Howie.

“I think there are going to be a lot of opportunities in front of us, players looking for short-term deals who want to win a championship,” Roseman said. “Any good player that we think can help our team, we’re going to take a hard look at.”

This is the Eagles, right?  We haven’t done a lot of this kind of stuff in the past.  Sure, we signed Dorsey Levens and Antonio Freeman types, but they were brought in due to injury or a player struggling in training camp.  Here Roseman is talking about targeting those types of players.

I like it.

You don’t want a team full of mercenaries, but I do think there is value in adding short term players.  The Patriots have done really well with this in the past.  The Saints have had pretty good success in recent years.  While you’d love a team to be all home grown, you don’t want to ignore talented players when they come available just because you hope a 5th round pick pans out.  One of the notes in the article is that we were interested in Reggie Bush, but that is now likely changed due to the drafting of Dion Lewis.  Huh???  Those guys are nothing alike.

Free agency in moderation can be a good thing.  Go to the well too often and you kill your team, right Mr. Snyder?  You can ignore it, but you better draft really well (like GB).

I need to put together an offseason plan.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but never wrote much out because of the lockout situation.  It seems more and more like we’re heading toward a settlement in the next month, or sooner (fingers crossed).

* * * * *

Big Al is featured in the article as an Eagles target and I believe that to be true.  There are only a few DTs in the whole NFL with dominant potential.  Al is one of them.  I’m willing to roll the dice on a guy that is rare.

Impact players in the front seven have a transcendent effect.  They make the whole defense better.  Look at Clay Matthews for Green Bay.  Julius Peppers for Chicago.  Haloti Ngata for Baltimore.  Those guys affect the players around and behind them by forcing teams to adjust their blocking schemes and the plays they run.

I love Trent Cole to death and have since he was in college.  Trent isn’t an impact player.  He’s whatever is a notch below that.  I know he is a terrific run defender and grades out well, but there is no stat or subjective way to measure the impact a guy has.  You watch the tape and see teams scared of him.  They don’t throw to his side.  They double team him.  They run away or at him, depending on if he’s a LB/DE/DT.

Trent is really, really good.  He’s one of my favorite all time Eagles.  I hope he plays 5 or 6 more years and makes a run at 100 career sacks.  I want all the best for Trent.  He’s the kind of pro football player you can really admire.  That still doesn’t make him an impact player.

Big Al, who will never be mistaken for St. Francis of Assisi, can still be an impact player.  He was in 2007 and 2008.  His play dipped the last 2 seasons not because of a decline in talent, but due to him being unhappy with the scheme, his coaches, and his surroundings.  I don’t condone his behavior, on or off the field.  I am willing for the Eagles to take a chance on adding an impact DT, warts and all.

Would a Super Bowl victory be lessened by the fact it included a turd like Big Al instead of high character guys like Reggie, Donovan, and Troy?  I’d like to find out.

* * * * *

Lots of good suggestions/comments yesterday in the post about Andy and The Sting.   Someone suggested Say Anything, with Andy holding the boom box over his head to woo Nnamdi Asomugha.  Very funny.  That conjured up A Street Car Named Desire, except instead of Brando yelling “Stella!” you’d have Big Red yelling “Nnamdi!!!”.  “Nnamdi!!!”.

12 Comments on “Free Agent Frenzy?”

  1. 1 Kyle said at 2:47 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    Tommy, will you be compiling a list of potential FAs and UDFAs for the Eagles’ needs? The rush to sign these guys will be fast and furious once the league year begins. It would be interesting to see who are out there and fill our gaps or bench.

  2. 2 GermanEagle said at 3:00 PM on June 16th, 2011:


    If Trent Cole is not an impact player, who’s then one on the current Eagles roster?

  3. 3 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:14 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    @ Kyle…

    I’m going to work on some target lists.

    @ GE…

    Long time no see. Hope all is well.

    Asante is an impact player at LCB. That’s it as far as defense.

    The offense has several: DJax, Vick, Shady. Maclin could be one if he continues to progress. Jason Avant is in his own way (impact role player).

  4. 4 JimmyK said at 3:17 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    The Eagles can either wait out the Redskins and hope they cut Haynesworth, thereby potentially getting him cheaper than his current contract, and not having to part with any draft picks, or they can trade for him.

    Under the hypothetical situation where they REALLY want him and are willing to trade for him to get it done, what do you think the Redskins will be looking for as far as trade compensation?

  5. 5 Thorin said at 3:17 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    I don’t know what Tommy will say, but impact player on defense? Maybe Asante. Teams avoid throwing at him. He’s the only one I’d even put in the argument.

    On offense I’d say DeSean and Vick are both impact players. I think Maclin is a better pure receiver than Jackson, but Jackson forces the whole defense to adjust and makes everyone underneath better because of it.

  6. 6 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:29 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    @ Jimmy…

    Skins reportedly turned down a 4th from TEN last year, but that was when Shanny still had hope for the season. Things have gone downhill since then.

    I’m sure WAS would love a 4th now. Might have to settle for a 5th or 6th, if anything. Big Al is polarizing. As good as he is, there will be a limited market for him.

  7. 7 mcud said at 3:49 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    Big Al is due 5.4 million this year in salary. 7.2 for 2012 (including a $500K offseason workout bonus). The key is that it is mostly salary (including all of 2011), so there would be no hit if it doesn’t work out and he is cut.

    Trade for him. A future 5th or 6th round pick has little value in the abstract. If you make it to next year’s 5th round and there is a player you want, its not expensive to go back up and get him at that point.

    I’d rather have the cap freedom, and to get him in here ASAP, if that is the plan. Don’t string this out while Washington decides whether or not they can cut him after training camp and the pre-season.

    Just send the late rounder and get it done.

  8. 8 GermanEagle said at 5:42 PM on June 16th, 2011:


    I am fine, thanks buddy.

    I’ve still been reading your articles but did not feel like posting lately. I just want the most boring offseason ever to finally end!

    Let’s get the CBA done and give me Nnamdi and it’s happy days again. *jk

  9. 9 Mike P said at 6:41 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    Tommy –

    What if the FA’s are set at 4 years, Could you see the iggles going after a guy like Charles Johnson from the panthers?

    I mean, his first year w/o Peppers he puts up 11 sacks Would give TC great help. Then they could always sign another CB.

    I would rather sign a few players that would help for the price that you would pay for just Nnamdi

  10. 10 mcud said at 7:56 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    @Mike P

    They’re not mutually exclusive. Signing one doesn’t preclude us from signing the other. If the new cap rules are similar to the old, then we’re going to have almost 50 million we can spend. In other words, the front office can basically be as aggressive as they want to be. This isn’t a situation like the Phillies.

  11. 11 D3Keith said at 9:31 PM on June 17th, 2011:

    I’m really starting to like Howie. One, aggressiveness is fun as a fan. But as the Silver article pointed out — and Silver’s only starting to make up for that Howie hack job, but at least Roseman still takes his calls — the guy has a plan.

    I thought there was good insight in there — that he’s delegated UDFA signings to scouts so he can do the big-fish stuff at the same time, and neither area will suffer — and that he’s watching film of guys and writing reports a third time (or at least he says he is).

    The one thing I get out of the comments, even when they’re vague a deliberately misleading, is that they are going to act with purpose. I don’t think they’re going to get caught off guard. I think they know who they want to pursue and up to how much they’ll spend for certain guys.

    They won’t get everyone we’ve been linked to (and might get a few we haven’t), but I can’t see how this becomes a disappointing offseason. Land corner, trade Kolb and everything else (Plax, Al, Bush, etc.) is gravy.

  12. 12 Tommy Lawlor said at 9:49 PM on June 17th, 2011:

    Good stuff, Keith.

    Howie has grown on me as well. His aggressive nature works well with Andy’s patience. That makes for a good balance.

    And Howie is a workaholic. He really eats, breathes, and sleeps football.